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April 25, 2013
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I've run a few very basic preliminary calculations to try to see just how massive the Dreadnought-class battleship U.S.S. Vengeance from "Star Trek: Into Darkness" is going to be. And if we take the official length of the new Enterprise as a whopping 700+ meters, this vessel is indeed going to be a giant monster.

images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__c…

John Harrison explicitly says that she's twice the size of Enterprise, and I confirmed that by doing a comparison measurement of the two CGI models. So using that and other official numbers as a basis and using very rough visual estimates to get some ballpark numbers, here is what I get for the Dreadnought Class if we take the Enterprise's length at 760 meters or 2,500 feet the length given in the "Experience the Enterprise" promotional feature from the 2009 film's advertising campaign. I am also using a deck chart I found for the new Enterprise (at her enormous "official" length) online that gives her 39 decks and an average height of 4.1 meters per deck.

3.bp.blogspot.com/_tsp9Xjez__8…

This ship is so big that her SAUCER alone is the length of the entire Enterprise, which as a Heavy Cruiser, counts as a medium sized ship. All numbers are rounded and heavily approximated and can change if we get official numbers released after the movie (which isn't likely given how sloppy the ST:09 designers are compared to the guys who worked on the previous productions).

*Name: USS (United Space Ship) Vengeance

*Launch Date: A.D. 2259 (Alternate Reality)

*Fate: Destroyed (damaged beyond repair by internal detonation of 72 Photon Torpedoes and crash-landed in San Francisco Bay)

*Class: Dreadnought

*Hull Type: Warship

*Registry: N/A (Unmarked/Officially Nonexistent)

*Affiliation: United Federation of Planets

*Operator: Federation Starfleet (Section 31)

*Top Speed: presumably Warp Factor 12 (pre-TNG warp scale)

*Special Characteristics: Unspecified "Mark IV" Capabilities including, but possibly not limited to, advanced warp technology, next-generation sensor technology including "multi-dimensional RADAR" and "space region observer" systems, upgraded (potentially M5-level) automation of all primary systems and anti-transwarp beaming countermeasures, hull armor including extending plates to cover the navigational deflector and a "sunken" main bridge configuration

*Cargo Capacity: At least seven storage hangars w/ airlock hatches

*Weapons: High-yield multi-emitter rapid-firing ball-turret Phaser banks, Swivel-mounted Photon Torpedo launchers, Torpedo drones (missile-like weapons that fire a cluster of micro-torpedoes before impacting the target & detonating)

*Defenses: Upgraded deflector shields, Heavily armored outer hull

*Designer: "Commander John Harrison" (a.k.a. Khan Noonien Singh)

*Commanding Officer: Admiral Alexander Marcus, Starfleet Commander-in-Chief, Section 31 C/O (Unofficially)

*Construction Site: Classified Section 31 Spacedock orbiting Io (Coordinates 23.17.46.11)

*Crew Complement: Unknown (can be operated by one individual if necessary)

*Main Bridge: judebgallery.files.wordpress.c…

*Corridor: judebgallery.files.wordpress.c…

*Photon Torpedo Launcher: images3.wikia.nocookie.net/__c…

*NOTE: The Warp Factor scale is NOT linear.  Therefore, Warp 12 is actually three times as fast as Warp 8.  The existence of anti-transwarp beaming countermeasures on this ship has been personally confirmed by Roberto Orci.  It explains why John Harrison had to flee to Qo'nos instead of beaming right to Io to steal the Vengeance directly.

(USS Vengeance stats assuming a 760-meter-long Enterprise, as stated in "Experience the Enterprise" )
Length: 1,520 meters
Beam (Saucer Diameter): 760 meters
Overall Height: 285 meters
Draft (Height, Discounting Nacelles): 200 meters
Deck Count (if decks are 4.1 meters tall): 48 decks
Deck Count (if decks are 8.2 meters tall): 24 decks

(USS Vengeance stats assuming a 2,379.75-foot-long Enterprise, as stated in the "Starships" featurette from ST:09)
Length: 1,462.11 meters
Beam (Saucer Diameter): 731.06 meters
Overall Height: 274.14 meters
Draft (Height, Discounting Nacelles): 192.4 meters
Deck Count (if decks are 4.1 meters tall): 46 decks
Deck Count (if decks are 8.2 meters tall): 23 decks

(USS Vengeance stats assuming a 725.35-meter-long Enterprise, as stated in "Star Trek: The Art of the Film" )
Length: 1,450.7 meters
Beam (Saucer Diameter): 725.35 meters
Overall Height: 272 meters
Draft (Height, Discounting Nacelles): 190.9 meters
Deck Count (if decks are 4.1 meters tall): 46 decks
Deck Count (if decks are 8.2 meters tall): 23 decks

I should point out that the fan-made chart I used for the AR Enterprise gave the Abrams version of Kirk's ship a total of 39 decks at 4.1 meters per deck.  Of course, if the ship's decks are 8.2 meters tall, that would mean that the average deck on board the Vengeance would be 27 feet high.  4.1 meter decks are already 13.5 feet tall.  Given that I'm a pretty average 25-year-old human male and I'm 5.67 feet tall (5'8"), if the Vengeance had 8.2 meter decks then the average level aboard ship would be four times my height.  

According to information I've read elsewhere, many high-rise buildings will have floors that range from about 8.5 feet tall to anywhere from 10 to 12 feet tall while decks on many cruise ships, which need more space for hardware, may have average floor-to-floor heights of about 10 feet to up to 16 feet tall for more "public areas" such as, perhaps, a grand atrium, so the 4.1 meter height is pretty believable.

I don't know if I will use the 4.1 or 8.2 meter average floor-to-floor deck height if/when I do my own take on the Dreadnought hull plan.  It is entirely possible that, as these futuristic warships need a lot of equipment hidden away beneath their floors and above their ceilings (otherwise it would not be possible to have those smooth corridors that are so typical of "Star Trek" - you never see those on a real-life Navy warship), that the floor-to-floor deck heights could indeed be, say, 8.2 meters, but that only 4 or 5 of those meters would actually be habitable, and this isn't even counting the more cavernous parts of the ship that would definitely need to be that large, like Main Engineering or the Shuttle Bay.

Now, all of this was horribly misconstrued because of the infamous "shuttle bay scene" from the 2009 film where the Enterprise is seen as holding anywhere from 16 to 20 or more military transport shuttlecraft in a giant hangar bay.  The ST:09 Enterprise was originally designed to match up with the Refit Enterprise from the 1979 Motion Picture.  Her saucer decks and the shape of her hull scaled appropriately and most of the extra length (the Enterprise Refit measured around 300-302 meters or so while this ship was 366 meters) came from her much longer warp nacelles.  But the shuttle scene posed a giant problem that wouldn't go away.  Matt Jefferies' original designs for the Enterprise's shape did not give the ship's aft the capacity to hold anywhere near that many small craft.  She could maybe fit 4 shuttles on the floor and have 2 or 3 more below decks in disassembled condition, and those shuttles were barely large enough to fit seven people, making them about the size of a minivan or a Chevy Astro if you want to be generous about it.

But the new ST:09 "military bus" shuttles are much, much bigger, easily capable of fitting up to 40 passengers plus cargo and a flight crew or even containing an entire laboratory (Scotty's shuttle doubled as his lab).  I would guess these shuttles must be about the size of a Greyhound bus.  And there was no way that a 366 meter Enterprise could hold 16-20 of those things with room to spare.  Therefore, the awful and very arbitrary decision was made, in the interest of keeping the "drama" and "heroism" of the shuttle scene - overblown scaling and all - to simply blow up the size of the Enterprise to anywhere from 725.35 to even 760 meters instead of redoing the shuttle scene with fewer shuttles and explaining that the rest of the crew beamed aboard instead (which would have been perfectly acceptable).  We now have a 2258-era Constitution-Type Class I Heavy Cruiser as big as an Old Republic Acclamator Class Assault Transport and there's something very wrong with that, especially since the physical architecture of the CGI model still suggests a 302-366 meter ship with maybe 19-20 decks (if the decks are still 4.1 meters tall on average).  Engineer Berndt Schneider, a very respected Trekkie and webmaster of the "Ex Astris Scientia" site, therefore prefers to take the Enterprise at a much smaller scale of around 302 meters to match her up with the Enterprise Refit as it's a more realistic scale.

However, that's what the "Powers That Be" say, so the Enterprise became a giant vessel with a 1,100-man crew (the original TOS Enterprise went from a crew complement of 203 in "The Cage" to a little over 400 by TOS proper, so the new ship has nearly three times her crew complement) in the 2009 film.  Now, back to our discussion of starship scaling.  I did some (again, very rough) recalculations and if the Enterprise is taken to be 366 meters long as she was originally designed,  and therefore given a crew complement based on the original ship's, her basic stats would look like this:

U.S.S. Enterprise (NCC-1701), Alternate Reality 2258
Overall Length: 366 meters
Beam (Saucer Width): 164 meters
Overall Height: 92 meters
Draft (Height w/o Nacelles): 77 meters
Average Deck Height: 4.1 meters
Deck Count: 20 decks
Crew Complement: ~430 officers & enlisted ratings

And if we keep the same scaling when recalculating the basic design specifications for the Dreadnought Class, she measures in at a size that, while still enormous for AR 2259, is much more "appropriate" for "Star Trek" because it's comparable to a Sovereign Class Explorer from PR 2371 (and, again, the Acclamator Class Assault Ship from "Star Wars" Episode II).  Of course, we don't know her intended crew complement at this time, only that she needs "much less" personnel to crew her than Enterprise did due to dramatically improved automation.  The U.S.S Vengeance herself from "Into Darkness" appears to be only manned by a skeleton crew at that, so I don't think we can take her as a typical example of a Dreadnought Class fully manned at maximum combat readiness.  So, if we assume a 366-meter Enterprise, here's what we get:

U.S.S. Vengeance (Unknown Registry), Alternate Reality 2259
Overall Length: 732 meters
Beam (Saucer Width): 366 meters
Overall Height: 138 meters
Draft (Height w/o Nacelles): 97 meters
Average Deck Height: 4.1 meters
Deck Count: 24 decks
Crew Complement: Unknown standard complement; the ship is capable of being run by a single operator.

Of course, this is all a wild ballpark guess based on known numbers from both ships, a presumptive fan-created deck chart for the Alternate Reality U.S.S. Enterprise (NCC-1701) and my own eyeballing of the relative sizes between the two CGI models from what few screen shots we have of the two ships together, as well as the proportions of the U.S.S. Vengeance CGI model.  J.J. Abrams' staff have not been very good at calculating or releasing information about the sizes of their ships in the new "Trek" franchise and even when they do, they only give us a bare minimum of information, leaving us to calculate the rest ourselves.  (It took quite a while to finally get an official length for U.S.S. Kelvin (NCC-0514) at 452 meters, for example.)  But, until we *do* get official numbers, this is the best I can do and it's what I'll assume when I go to see the movie in mid-May 2013.

Signing off,
:icongalaxy1701d:
04/25/2013 (Updated 06/02/2013)

***

UPDATE (06/04/2013): Memory Alpha has noted that Quantum Mechanix was contracted to build a series of spacecraft and starship models to illustrate the "history of space flight."  These models can be seen briefly on the desk of CINCFLEET Admiral Alexander Marcus' little office during a meeting between Kirk, Spock and Marcus at Starfleet Headquarters following John Harrison's assault on the Daystrom Building.

The U.S.S. Vengeance appears as one of these models, but co-writer Roberto Orci has confirmed in correspondence that this ship shouldn't have been there because as an unmarked, unregistered, exclusively Section 31 design, the Vengeance - and any other Dreadnought-class starships that may have been built by S31 prior to Harrison's revolt - should not "officially" exist in Federation records and, therefore, no image of the ship should be found in such a public location (remember, Section 31 doesn't officially exist).  Orci has stated personally that had he been on set that day, the model of Vengeance would have been removed, but as a close-up shot of the model made it into the final film, it's canon and its existence cannot be retracted.

Orci decided to clear up the issue by stating that the while the finished Dreadnought-class design as seen with U.S.S. Vengeance was indeed a top-secret experimental prototype, it may not represent a design that was thought up by Khan Noonien Singh and S31's design boards entirely from scratch during the short 1-year gap between "Star Trek (AR 2258)" and "Star Trek: Into Darkness (AR 2259)."  Instead, it is more likely that an earlier, more primitive, unfinished version of the Dreadnought-class design had been partially developed and proposed during the quarter-century's worth of technological innovations and new ideas that led to the development of the AR Constitution-Type Class 1 Heavy Cruiser, but then shelved (for whatever reason) until after the destruction of Vulcan and the discovery of S.S. Botany Bay.

Then, after his awakening, Section 31 would have taken this existing (and, judging from the model, likely publicly known) design out of mothballs and had Khan Noonien Singh (under the cover identity of Commander John Harrison) work on the unnamed existing design, dramatically enlarging the ship to twice the length of the Constitution Type and adding an entire host of technological innovations developed using Khan's superior intelligence, from the "Mark IV" suite of advanced warp, computer, sensor and transporter capabilities to the improved multi-emitter Phaser turrets and swivel-mounted heavy torpedo launchers.

***

UPDATE (07/25/2013): Quantum Mechanix has revealed that it is going to make 2 different models of the U.S.S. Vengeance for sale.  With this announcement has come their estimates of the ship's size.  As QMX worked to produce the actual U.S.S. Vengeance model that was seen in Admiral Marcus' office, I can only presume that QMX's representatives had access to the ship's CGI model from Industrial Light & Magic and may have been told the vessel's actual size by the movie's CGI model makers.  Their sizes for the Dreadnought Class Warship are:

Length: 4800 feet (1,463.04 meters)
Width: 2400 feet (731.52 meters)
Height: 1133.33 feet (345.34 meters)

This seems to confirm that ILM, Bad Robot and Paramount are sticking with an estimated length for the U.S.S. Enterprise (NCC-1701) of the Alternate Reality at 2,379.75 feet (731.06 meters), as this size is just above the calculations I derived for a 731.06-meter Enterprise.  Although the Alternate Reality vessels have never been and will never be designed as intricately as the ships of the Prime Reality that we have come to know so well through long-running television series, the puzzle has finally been solved, long after the ship was first revealed - we now know how big the Vengeance is.
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:iconquintazon:
Quintazon Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2014
Everyone seems to miss the part where Kahnn jumps the gap between the bridge of the vengeance and the outer saucer section, Sulu states that he jumped 30 meters. that gap measures about 1:24th of the ships total length. Which would make the Vengeance about 720m give or take. But if the Vengeance was 1,463.52 meters what Sulu should have said is that he just jumped 61 meters or he just jumped 197 feet or he just jumped stories 20 storys but not 30 meters.
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:icongalaxy1701d:
galaxy1701d Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2014
Indeed.  What you're saying about Khan jumping 30 meters is definitely in-line with my suspicions about the Great Enterprise Size Controversy of 2009.  If Enterprise was indeed around 302 to 366 meters long, which is what she was always meant to be when Ryan Church designed her regardless of what those in charge of the franchise right now might be saying about her being 725.35 meters in length, then your estimate of the Vengeance would be pretty darn close to the ship's intended size - one set of calculations among the several I proposed in my journal entry does put up such a length for the Vengeance (700+ meters) assuming a 366 meter Enterprise.  I love the movies and I love the Vengeance, but I don't think the staff making the films have been doing a lot of checking for technical consistency...
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:iconquintazon:
Quintazon Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2014
I agree the movie and ship are awesome. However, technical consistency (warp speeds, and star dates aside) is one of things that made star trek great in the first place. If I where to venture a guess i would say the size of the ships and script was set at the lower values prior to set construction. Then somewhere along the lines they realized the oversized sets just would not fit in the ship they had so they bumped the sizes and missed the details. Most likely because scenes are rarely shot in chronological sequence. However, due to technical inconsistencies in later development, I fear there will never be an "official cannon" size for these two ships that can be taken with any seriousness. For instance the crash scene supports both larger and smaller Vengeance if you take into account that the section of water it crashed into between Alcatraz and Fisherman's Wharf is just short of 1,5km wide and the Vengeance appeared to be only a bit more than half that in length, possibly three quarter, the entire length which it should have fallen only 37m short of bridging the two land masses if that. However, it also appeared to be more than twice the width of Alcatraz Island only a moment before witch would make it more than 1km wide, (so an even larger ship). I would say variable scaling seems to be a plaguing issue with the staff. Not to mention that in order to have hit the building it hit at the angle it hit it the ship would have to have come in from the west headed almost directly east that little tower shown in front of the building is on the south east side of the island. Prior to the Alcatraz hit it was clearly shown coming in from the north passing over Angel Island going south toward Alcatraz with the golden gate visable off the right side (5km due west of Alcatraz), then suddenly in the Alcatraz hit the golden gate is behind the Vengeance and the ship is headed east, after the hit the ship appears to be flying south again if the ship is however still moving east then the expanse of water between Alcatraz and the shore becomes 10km making the ship easily more than 5km long. it would appear that once the Vengeance came on scene the entire film crew became so excited they could not even agree on which direction the ship was flying.

While I do appreciate bad robot and paramount's stance, given the conflicting data used in production, i would hardly consider it a definitive answer so much as popular propaganda. I would myself be more inclined to take Ryan Church's size to be the cannon size, any estimates outside of the ships designer, takes you out of Science Fiction which Star Trek has always been and starts you into Science Fantasy where explanations do not have to follow any form of logic or consistency.

All of that being said, I did enjoy reading your article, though I fear it is a question with too many answers, none of witch can withstand scrutiny, and yet none are entirely false. But I will keep an eye out for any new developments, Perhaps the next movie will see more attention to detail, and less attempt to overshadow an excellent story with carelessly overreaching effects and scaling issues.
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:icongalaxy1701d:
galaxy1701d Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2014
Oh, absolutely.  I really do wish they paid more attention to this kind of thing, you know.  "Star Trek" is no stranger to scaling issues.  If you look through Berndt Schneider's excellent page, "Ex Astris Scientia," you'll see that other classes have had notorious scaling problems, too.  The Excelsior Class has been stated to be anything from 467 meters (the size used on the Playmates toy according to the box, and apparently the class' intended size) to 511 meters (the size given on the box of the Diamond Select/Art Asylum toy of the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-B).  When the model was altered between ST:III and ST:VI, the bridge dome changed, but the new bridge dome suddenly suggested a totally different scale for the ship because the new bridge detail was smaller.  And then they were filming models next to other models (i.e. Excelsior and Galaxy) that weren't built to scale with each other, which meant that if you just take what you're meant to see on screen, the Excelsior or Oberth Classes suddenly become much bigger compared to the 641-meter Galaxy Class than what they were supposed to be.  

Inconsistency really sucks, doesn't it? =(
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:icons1cohen:
s1cohen Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2013
I'll definitely have to check out those comics. So, Robert April wanted war with Starfleet's enemies? Wow! That's so different from Diane Carey's characterizations of him in Final Frontier and Best Destiny, in which he was an idealist and his first officer, George Kirk, was more pragmatic (the best defense is a strong offense). They're not canon, but they're entertaining. Check them out if you haven't done so already. :)
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:icongalaxy1701d:
galaxy1701d Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2013
I don't need to check them out.  I have the "Final Frontier" audiobook and I remember "Best Destiny" from a while ago.  I'm well aware of the original Robert April, the rosy-eyed idealist and "father of the Constitution Class."  And I also much prefer that April to the one from the Alternate Reality.

The AR folks are certainly treating the novels as "non-canon" (which they technically are) and picking and choosing elements from them as they please.  On the other hand, it could be argued that as it's known that the Federation/Klingon "cold war" went through some particularly tense periods prior to the 2250s even in the Prime Reality and this would have just been made worse by the paranoia sweeping through Starfleet after Nero's First Incursion of 2233, a lot of people could have been hardened far beyond what their attitudes were in the Prime Reality.  I don't know.  

George was killed in 2233 in the AR, but his personality is still generally portrayed as being relatively pragmatic so I'm sure he wouldn't have necessarily changed all that much.  People have definitely noted that the cover art of George Samuel Kirk, Sr. from some of the novels looks pretty similar to Chris Hemsworth's appearance as George, which was quite the welcome coincidence.

Truth be told, I never cared all that much about the characters.  I'm more interested in Federation technology and Starfleet military culture.  I'm technically a Treknologist, not a general-purpose Trekkie.
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:icons1cohen:
s1cohen Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2013
Well, I certainly enjoyed your article. You are thorough and your arguments are very convincing. :)
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:icongalaxy1701d:
galaxy1701d Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2013
I'm a trained scientist with a master's in biology and will soon be a certified medical laboratory scientist.  Being thorough is to be expected from people like me. =)
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:icons1cohen:
s1cohen Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2013
:)
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:icons1cohen:
s1cohen Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2013
I think this ship would cause a massive arms race in the Star Trek universe, or even worse, a catastrophic war. The Klingons and the Romulans would feel threatened and build their own enormous monstrosities.
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:icongalaxy1701d:
galaxy1701d Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2013
We'll have to see how they take it in the upcoming comics and movies, since the comics show where the Alternate Reality's canon is going.  The Klingons and Romulans are none too pleased with the Feddies, that's for sure, and the course of world history - especially between WW1 and WW2 with regard to the Dreadnought Arms Race - would tend to agree with you.  Of course, in real life the great powers eventually agreed to multinational arms limitation treaties that put cutoffs on shipbuilding.

The end of ST:ID certainly made it seem like Starfleet wanted to back off from Marcus' policies.  As the post-ST:ID comics pick up from the "one year later" epilogue, they don't mention the immediate fallout of the Vengeance crash but I would imagine that as nobody could deny the Vengeance's existence after Khan smashed it into San Francisco killing hundreds of thousands of Federation citizens, the rest of that year would have probably seen Starfleet Command and the Federation government marred by a political scandal - a "Vengeancegate."

Of course, the Vengeance herself was still dwarfed by what she was built to fight.  The Narada from ST:09 was a Romulan/Borg hybrid measuring 5 miles long, if I remember correctly.
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:iconthraxllisylia:
thraxllisylia Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
bloody interesting article!, well done. I'm happy enough with the 2009 blu ray stats of the Enterprise but I do admit that in terms of minute detailing the production of the new timeline is not so focussed. For what its worth, I always saw the Vengeance as a symbol of intent (i know its obvious) of Marcus/Section 31. which is an entirely separate direction to the original Starfleet ethos, I am comfortable with the title of the ship as it were, I see people blowing steam over the subject on FB. and I thought more inline with seeking retribution against the Klingons for making incursions into federation space. a hurt emotional base that needs revenge.

powerful ship and I loved its soundfield actually ;D.
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:icongalaxy1701d:
galaxy1701d Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2013
I think you're exactly right.  There's a lot of what some people like to call "butt hurt" going around, and I've just been fed up with it.  I don't even allow anti-J.J. vitriol on my page(s).  Post it and you're getting banned.  Calm discussion and analysis is always fine, but I'm not tolerating any bullying.  There was a time back in 2006-2007 when "Enterprise" was canceled, the "Legacy" video game was seen as a failure, TOS Remastered didn't generate any buzz outside the hardcore "Trek" fandom and I was seeing a few magazine articles that dared to claim that "Trek is dead" and that we were suffering from "franchise fatigue," which I quietly considered insulting.  The last two films really did give us a popularity boost we genuinely needed.  And since they spun off their own canon and will never interact with the original again, I don't mind much of what has been done - after all, they could have done worse.  The "Battlestar Galactica" reimagination may have been a fairly good show, but it also took almost everything about the original and threw it in the trash.  J.J. hasn't done this.

If you really look at the Vengeance, you will realize that she isn't all *that* advanced.  There is nothing this ship does that isn't truly unconventional.  She's just blown up in size and designed completely for combat.  Even her avionics are not that powerful - remember, the M5 hasn't been developed yet.  I was wondering why the U.S.S. Vengeance's engineering section looked so cramped when Khan, Scotty and Kirk were navigating their way through it in the movie, and why it looked like there were rows upon rows of shelves with what looked like boxes wired in until one of my friends who is majoring in a computer field suggested that I look at my computer.  They are very likely tower cases.  The Vengeance likely has a whole lot of computers wired up down there in Engineering, all linked to each other and to the ship's original computer core(s) to form a network that would allow for the ship's near-total automation.  This is how you could sensibly explain how a ship built in 2259 (yes, some aspects of Starfleet technology are more advanced in the Alternate Reality, but not everything is more advanced and you don't need to be "more advanced" to "build bigger."  You could easily take more primitive technology and build bigger in order to compensate for its primitive nature) could have automation rivaling that of the U.S.S. Enterprise (Refit) as Scotty rigged her up in "The Search for Spock."

Her Phasers don't operate on any principle that differs from standard Phasers.  Her vaunted ability to "fire Phasers at Warp" has nothing to do with the nature of her weapons but comes from one of the only technologies she has that is truly different: she has highly modified Warp Drive technology and is capable of forcibly merging her Warp "bubble" or "tunnel" with that of another ship, causing both ships to exist in the same pocket of normal space-time and allowing Phasers to be fired (remember, Phaser beams are bolts of electromagnetic radiation and no electromagnetic radiation can travel faster than the speed of light; Photon Torpedoes get around this because they have miniature Warp Drives called Warp Sustainers built into their casings and the Warp scale was redrawn during TNG to make Warp 10 the maximum attainable speed by a traditional Warp Drive).  Even *this* is not truly "original."  It is likely inspired by the events of the ENT episode "Divergence" where Enterprise and Columbia merged their Warp bubbles in order to allow Trip Tucker to basically climb down a ladder from one ship to the other.

Vengeance *is* described as having "Mark IV" capabilities, but these correspond to the Enterprise (Refit) from PR 2271.  The Refit Enterprise was claimed to have an "advanced, 4th generation Warp Drive" that made her "three times faster" than the TOS Enterprise.  The TOS Enterprise had a top speed of Warp Factor 8, the same top speed the J.J. Abrams Enterprise is rated at.  Warp Factor 12 on the old chart is rated at 3 times faster than Warp Factor 8 (remember, the Warp scale is not linear), so this can be implied to be the Vengeance's top speed.  In the novelization of ST:ID it is said that the Vengeance was capable of temporarily exceeding all accepted Warp factors and catching up with a fleeing ship; to be more realistic about it, you must recall that Vengeance - at least, the Vengeance herself if not the original Dreadnought concept - is a top secret design that officially doesn't exist and that before Vengeance was designed by Khan, Enterprise with her Warp 8 top speed was likely considered the fastest ship in Starfleet as the Constitution Class Heavy Cruiser was Starfleet's most advanced vessel.  Perhaps even Vengeance can only maintain Warp 12 for short bursts and usually travels at slower speeds.  This certainly puts her on an even footing (propulsion-wise) with the Enterprise (Refit), meaning we've got an AR 2259 ship that can keep up with a PR 2271 ship, but that's something I find acceptable.

As for her gigantic size?  That was an inevitability since it's now clear that they are taking a size of about 731 meters for the AR Enterprise.  I have made my peace with this, and with the fact that all J.J. Abrams ships are now likely going to be enormous.  You're right (and I also noted this) that the ship designers and showrunners of the Alternate Reality are just never going to be as careful or consistent as Matt Jefferies and Doug Drexler have been when designing their ships, deciding on an exact fixed scale, mapping out every deck and aiming for maximum realism in order to keep things consistent.  I knew they were never going to be that careful the moment they started using location filming for the engineering sections of the Kelvin and Enterprise (I am generally vitriolically, almost vehemently *AGAINST* using location filming for Federation starship interiors simply because we know what the inside of a Federation starship needs to look like and because there are scaling issues involved.  They did things a little better with ST:ID by using an actual subatomic particle research facility to stand in for the Warp Core because that location makes more sense design-wise, allowing for the brewery to become plumbing, EPS junctions, and other "guts" of the ship that we always implied to be there on the other vessels but just never got to see).  And, of course, you've got that shuttle scene from ST:09 - a blatant analogue to the idea of going to a big sailing ship in small rowboats in the pirate movies that was likely deliberately conceived to wow the non-Trekkies with a sense of scale; there's no way around that, so I've just learned to accept the new sizes while keeping my comments that it doesn't make sense.

However, that being said, Vengeance's relative size compared to the Enterprise *does* make sense.  Most people will spout off that Enterprise is a Constitution Type Class 1 Heavy Cruiser without realizing what the Hell a "Heavy Cruiser" is.  The term "Heavy Cruiser" was developed around World War 1 to designate a ship class superseding the Armored and Protected Cruisers of the previous era.  Heavy Cruisers were *MEDIUM* sized vessels with high speed, long range, and fairly powerful weapons that were not intended to stand in with the main battle lines but featured just the right blend of size and capability to take on most missions a Navy would require that were too much for small ships like Corvettes, Frigates and Destroyers but for which a Battleship would be overkill (there really isn't much you can use a Battleship for other than destroying things en masse or threatening other nations by pointing guns at their cities).  Cruisers represented countries overseas in peacetime and conducted diplomatic missions.  They could occasionally be diverted for search-and-rescue or interdiction.  In wartime, they acted as long-range scouts for the Battleship fleets.  They could pursue crippled or wounded enemies.  Because they were fast enough to evade destruction by anything bigger and powerful enough to destroy anything that could outrun them, Cruisers were the perfect "commerce raiders."  Before the advent of the Submarine it was the Cruiser that was made to catch and kill enemy shipping and, indeed, the Germans and French purposely designed their Cruisers to do exactly this.  The Germans had a number of famous Cruisers in particular that were known for commerce raiding: the WW1 Light Cruiser S.M.S. Emden and the Deutschland-Class Panzerschiffen (pocket battleships) in WW2, the D.K.M. Deutschland/Lutzow, D.K.M. Admiral Scheer and D.K.M. Admiral Graf Spee.  Those last three were nicknamed "pocket battleships" because they were Cruisers with Battleship guns: their main batteries were six eleven-inch guns apiece.  This leads to a discussion of typical Cruiser weapons.  Cruisers could far outpace Destroyers, which were mainly armed with torpedo tubes and 5 inch guns.  Cruisers themselves were actually divided into "Light" or "Heavy" categories based on their *WEAPONS* not their *SIZE* - the typical Light Cruiser carred 6 inch guns as her main armament while Heavy Cruisers carried 8 inch guns.  (Compare that to the Panzerschiffen with their 11 inch guns and most battleships which had anywhere from 14 to 16 to 18.1 inch guns.)  The Japanese Heavy Cruisers of WW2, among the mightiest and fastest Cruisers ever built, carried up to ten 8 inch guns plus torpedo tubes and a scout/fighter plane.

Battleships, on the other hand, are *expected* to be far more massive than Cruisers and by World War 2, they were even beginning to be able to catch up with some Cruisers in top speed (WW2 was the advent of the "Fast Battleship" type) even though they would always maneuver more sluggishly simply due to their massive bulk.  The Vengeance is a battleship, plain and simple.  So I guess it makes sense that Marcus demanded Khan upscale the Dreadnought design to be twice the size of the "Heavy Cruiser"-designated U.S.S. Enterprise.  It would also make sense that the Dreadnought may have needed to be upscaled to fit the machinery needed to give Refit Era Warp capabilities all the way back in 2271, to jam in the Dreadnought's powerful weapon systems (massive turret-mounted Photon Torpedo launchers, 2 tubes firing "Torpedo Drones" capable of firing clusters of Photon Torpedoes before detonation and enormous ball-turret gatling Phaser emitters) and defenses (advanced shields, anti-Transwarp Beaming countermeasures) because one of the main things that can be understood is that oftentimes, advances in technology don't come in the form of brand new ways of doing things or completely new weapons.

Battleships were essentially using the same sort of primary weapons technology from the Armored Cruiser era (around the Spanish-American War of the late 19th century) through to the end of WW2.  The advancements were mostly internal, things you wouldn't notice at first glance: the replacement of coal-burning engines for the smaller, more efficient turbine design, better propellants for the weapons, advanced gunmaking technology allowing for bigger guns, the concept of a "completely uniform main battery" of all main guns being the same caliber (the Dreadnought design), the armored belt and underwater torpedo blister, the ability to carry a floatplane, RADAR targeting, that sort of thing.  It could be thought that much of the advancements between 2259 and 2271 even in the Prime Reality were based on miniaturization, ways to do existing things that required less space, less power, and with fewer crew.  Perhaps in the Prime Reality part of why they didn't try to shoot for these capabilities sooner was because, if they did, they would have to build every ship to be as big as the Vengeance and Starfleet just didn't believe it was economical to do so - better to develop miniaturization and automation technology with better computers and more advanced *internal* machinery to get the same capabilities in a smaller package a few decades later.

Vengeance's design makes sense if you think of it from an almost completely defensive viewpoint and realize that besides having a look that was clearly inspired by her villainous nature and the appearance of the USAF Lockheed Martin F-117A Nighthawk stealth night bomber, she was an attempt to take the standard look of the Federation starship (a look that many critics of "Star Trek" and non-Trekkies will bemoan as being very difficult to defend) and make it more sensible for a warship that is focused on only 2 things: attack and defense.  The Vengeance is the Anti-Narada.  Or, an attempt to make an Anti-Narada; Starfleet didn't understand just how powerful that part-Borg, part-Romulan monster really was.

1. Like a WW2 battleship, her hull is covered in a "sheath" of armor plate.  

2. The armor plates were a result of the fact that Narada's torpedoes easily penetrated shields.

3. The Deflector could be protected by armored plates when not at Warp.

4. Even the Warp Nacelles are encased in an armored "sheath" and few parts are exposed.

5. She has almost no windows and those she has are in the inner face of the saucer "cutout"

6. Her "neck" is heavily reinforced and integrated into the hull design to be more damage-resistant

7. Her weapons are put in a protected location and surrounded by armor plates

8. The secrecy surrounding her construction mirrors that of the great Axis WW2 battleships.

The Bismarck and Tirpitz were built in semi-secrecy.  People knew they were being built, but the Nazis lied about their true displacement of nearly 50,000 tons.  The Yamato and Musashi were built in 100% total secrecy.  Even though they were named for the man who became the very ideal of an honorable warrior and for the most ancient and sacred name of the Japanese nation, even though they were intended to be symbols of an empire and an entire people, the very people the ships were meant to represent never knew about them.  They did not have official launches.  They were designed and built piecemeal; no designer was ever allowed to see the entire completed design of Yamato or Musashi and worked on their little chunk of the design under heavy guard.  Why all this secrecy?  Because these ships were *ILLEGAL* and their builders damn well knew it.  Germany and Japan had been limited by treaty bans after WW1 on how much they could build and how big they could build.  Even after the two Axis nations decided to no longer respect the terms of the treaties regarding how big they could build their warships, there was still the problem that Britain, France and America could always win a war with sheer numbers of ships.  The Germans and Japanese could see that this was going to be a battle of quality vs. quantity and in order to ensure that they would have the edge on "quality," they had to make sure nobody knew just how big, how powerful, and more importantly, how *illegal* their ships were truly going to be until it was too late.  These illegal WW2 Axis monster battleships are just like the illegal nature of the U.S.S. Vengeance, though the Vengeance's shady designer certain ups the ante in her case.

9. Her bridge is "sunken" deeper into the plane of the hull & protected by a raised "fairing"

This explains why we have the "Star Trek Online"-style doughnut saucer.  Who could forget the ENT episode "Twilight" when non-Trekkie concerns were addressed by having the NX-01 take a direct hit straight to her bridge?  I think the designers did not want to completely do away with an exposed bridge because it is such a traditional element of Starfleet ship designs and because it makes it obvious even to the casual filmgoer where the bridge is, but they also wanted to put the bridge into a more protected location while still keeping it easily visible.  They perhaps also may have believed that the hole in the center of the saucer may allow some weapons fire to just pass right through and not damage any portions of the hull, although whether or not this is truly a benefit can be argued.  But to better protect the bridge, they made it "lower" on the hull and then to keep the bridge visible, they created a cutout, resulting in a "doughnut saucer" layout.

10. She has 3 sets of shuttle/hangar bays arranged above and to the sides of her engineering section.

This in particular needs explanation.  You see, before the armored belt became lighter and more practical, we had Protected Cruisers in the world's navies that protected their vital internal machinery by putting bunkers for the storage of coal fuel on the sides of the ship and concealing the machinery inside the coal bunkers.  After the invention of the practical military torpedo and especially after the development of the Submarine as a weapon of war, surface warships began to be fitted with "Torpedo Blisters," bulges along the sides of their hulls that were partially flooded and partially hollow and air-filled.  These spaces all served the same function: they were mostly empty space and/or shock-absorbing materials and therefore could absorb the impact and energy of an incoming explosive projectile weapon, preventing the weapon from penetrating deeper into the hull and damaging vital engine components or killing crew members.  

The Vengeance seems to have three hangar/shuttle bays.  Her primary shuttlebay isn't in her fantail the way Enterprise and Kelvin had theirs.  Instead, it is located in a long rectangular bulge above the fantail and right in between the two warp nacelles (it's clearly visible on the recently released pictures of the large QMX Studio Model of this ship).  Her other two are in the angled "blisters" or "flanges" that form the sides of her hull.  These are the parts of the ship that are lined with airlocks such as the airlock that Kirk and Khan space-jumped into during the events of "Into Darkness."  If you look on the QMX model, you will see details that may appear to be hatches on the back of each of these "side flanges."  So think about it for a minute.  Why would you have three long rows of shuttlebays on the top and sides of the engineering hull?  You'd do that so that you can take all of the ship's vital automation computer hardware and engineering components and shove them deep down inside the central core of the ship's main body, and keep the shuttlebays outside to absorb the impact of torpedo hits and make the ship more survivable, especially since the Narada was *ONLY* known to use projectile weapons in the form of cluster torpedoes.  The Vengeance's shuttlebays are the 23rd century version of the Torpedo Blister.  I have even taken to using the term on occasion.

This was actually demonstrated in the movie - the Photon Torpedo explosions inside her side hangar bays blew the hangars apart, but did not seem to really blast the rest of the Vengeance apart, and those explosions even occurred *INSIDE* the ship without the added resistance of having the Torpedo have to strike the ship's shields and armor.  Vengeance's design makes sense if you realize that she is built for maximum protection.  She wasn't meant to look pretty.  She wasn't meant to have any space for scientific, diplomatic or medical missions.  She was meant to do two things and do them well: destroy and survive.  She is a battleship, plain and simple, designed the way any nation about to go to war would design a pure warship.  The Enterprise is *NOT* a purebred warship.  She is more like a U.S. Coast Guard Cutter, intended to be a "jack of all trades."  She is the public face of the Federation for first contact, diplomatic and morale-boosting missions.  She needs space for a good sickbay, laboratories and VIP quarters.  She needs to be bright, optimistic and beautiful - she is as much a symbol of everything good the Federation has to offer as a practical military vessel.  

The Vengeance doesn't have any such obligations.  She's a behemoth, a twisted monster - her practical design and even her name (taken from a number of terrestrial naval vessels that have been called Vengeance) are terrible symbols.  Just look at her class name: Dreadnought.  What's a Dreadnought, anyway?  A Dreadnought was a type of WW1/WW2 battleship named for the H.M.S. Dreadnought, launched in 1906 and built under the guidance of First Sea Lord Sir Jackie Fisher by the British navy.  She was the first "all big gun battleship" to make all of her primary weapons of the same large caliber type of gun instead of having a mixed-battery of big and medium-sized guns, making her far more powerful at much longer ranges and thereby making every other battleship existing in the world at the time obsolete in one blow.  The Germans, French, Russians, Japanese, Italians and Americans panicked and all of those countries raced to create their own battleships of this type after H.M.S. Dreadnought sailed for the first time, and the Dreadnought's name became the name of the entire type as a massive naval arms race began to take over the globe.

So the Vengeance is a starship gone wrong, an abomination, a twisted representation of everything that Admiral Marcus tried to get Starfleet to become because he, his mentor Robert April (check the "Countdown to Darkness" and "After Darkness" comics) and his Section 31 cronies wanted war with the Klingons and Federation supremacy at any cost.  And with that, we come around to what is perhaps the *single most important* thing you said in your entire post: you weren't *supposed* to like this ship.  You were supposed to hate and fear this ship.  This ship is "wrong," and in fact, was designed to look "wrong" because the entire point of the whole bloody movie was that Starfleet shouldn't be doing this - they are explorers, not warmongers.  She's just "wrong" in a way that makes sense from a realistic design standpoint - if you pay close enough attention to her internal layout, remember your Treknological history and have a good eye for the historical trends in battleship design, which I do.  Once you understand the Vengeance's design, the ship makes more sense and becomes less offensive in an emotional way, even fascinating.  I'm certainly fascinated by her.

But do most of these "butt hurt" naysayers have this kind of qualification?  I don't think they do.  It took me many years of reading and research to acquire the kind of information I just gave you up there, information that is very important to understanding why the Vengeance was designed the way she did and what kind of precedents went into the way she looks.  They just sit there, safe from retaliation behind their monitors, spouting off like they're sages, guardians of "Real Trek."  And frankly, I'm tired of it.  If you don't want to talk intelligently, if you just want to claim that Abrams is "full of crap," you have no place on my page and I want nothing to do with you.

Oh, and yes, the Vengeance does indeed sound like a rickety old WW1 biplane at Warp.  Very intimidating, and very different.  As for her name?  Well, the Vengeance was designed, stolen, and crashed by Khan Noonien Singh, and "The Wrath of Khan" was originally going to be called "The Vengeance of Khan."  That couldn't be just a coincidence, now, could it...? ^_^
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:iconironspider029:
ironspider029 Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Sir, I think you are my favorite Trekkie in the world. Your Treknology explanations are quite good, and appeal to the Treknologist in me.

I, too, find a certain beauty in the ferocity of the Vengeance and it fascinates me. It's too bad there is so little source material, even with Into Darkness out on Bluray/DVD. I've pored over the details of the JJ alternate reality so that I can be as accurate as possible in my upcoming sci-fi crossover comic, and you have provided me with very valuable additional knowledge.
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:icongalaxy1701d:
galaxy1701d Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2013
Thanks.  I don't know if it was just coincidence that so much of the Vengeance's seemingly atypical design could be explained if you know enough about how real-life terrestrial battleships of the "armored cruiser" and "dreadnought" eras were built - J.J. himself merely thought of a "giant black version of Enterprise with the aesthetics of a stealth fighter" - but I was very glad that it worked out this way.  Of course, the Vengeance's finalized design is still far more "conservative" than the way the original concept art looked, and I'm quite glad for that.  I suppose I should be grateful that I'm such a Navy geek, because I could recognize those elements straight away and see how the Vengeance was much, much better designed that anyone gives her credit for.

I'm certainly glad that I could be of help to you.  You are right; the Alternate Reality staff seem to be putting more effort into making the character plot arcs clear instead of revealing all the available facts about the Treknology involved, and they've been woefully inconsistent at times.  The Vengeance is the Yamato or Bismarck of the "Star Trek" world, and I've had a mad obsession with understanding her design ever since I first realized she was a separate ship in the trailers.  
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:iconthraxllisylia:
thraxllisylia Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
that is one heck of an answer thank you for sharing the information. Yes I thought Kirk, Scotty and Khan were passing through some sever network, great interpretation and by golly it seems amazing I never recognized that Scotty had rigged the ol Refit for automation is the equivalant of what the Vengeance achieved.

good to have that form of comparison.

Interesting read on warp space,  I remember "Divergence" now that you speak of it, some of the techno-babble never really registered with me ;). something to appreciate in my older years.

as someone who is not as deeply entwined in the science behind trek I had assumed that Marcus (with Khan) had somehow mastered "Transwarp Drive" something of a side effect achieved after stealing Scotty's "Transwarp Beam" device and of course analyzing it's properties etc.

and it really dawned on me how much of an inadvertent influence Spock Prime has had in this new timeline, bringing Scotty's concept forward by 20 years ;).

cheers very much for the details, great to see the passion. :D
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:icongalaxy1701d:
galaxy1701d Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2013
Well, there you go.  That is how things work with the Vengeance.  And as they said in the old "G.I. JOE" series, "now you know, and knowing is half the battle."  Unfortunately, most of the other people in this fanbase have their passions oriented the wrong way, hence the "butt hurt."

The "Transwarp" in Transwarp Beaming seems more of an inaccurate nickname than anything else and doesn't have anything to do with the Transwarp Drive used by the Excelsior.  There are only 2 known forms of Transwarp that worked: the Borg conduits (which need special equipment and is technology beyond Federation capability) and Arturis' Quantum Slipstream drive (which also needed special equipment and was originally alien technology).  If either one of those appears in a J.J. film, even I will cry foul - and it takes a lot (like the Great Enterprise Size Controversy) to get me to cry foul.

And as for Spock Prime's influence, what do you think Prime!Scotty did when he went back to the 1980's and gave that 20th century guy the formula to create transparent aluminum, eh? =P
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:icons1cohen:
s1cohen Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2013
It's hard to tell its size. It seemed to me that when it crashed into the bay it was roughly the size of a Galaxy-class ship.
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:icongalaxy1701d:
galaxy1701d Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2013
Yes, indeed, and that seems to support the blown-up size (longer than a Sovereign) that I calculated based on the Enterprise having been blown up to at least 725.35 meters. The Enterprise being that large is also supported by the underwater scenes, as the ship seems much bigger compared to Kirk and McCoy than comparison scales of the TOS Enterprise make that ship seem compared to the average human...
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:iconsubarubrz:
SubaruBRZ Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2013
The Vengeance is 732 meters. If you watch Into Darkness again several scenes prove the Enterprise is not 725 meters long. Kirk and McCoy swimming to the hatch on the bottom of the ship is one scene, the aliens getting a view of the deflector dish is another scene. I think we can forget about Abrams' staff ever releasing any solid technical data on anything in the AR, they have shown no interest in proving anything technical about the alternate universe. I've totally shunned the shuttlebay scene from the 2009 movie, it's full of crap. This new Enterprise is also as primitive as it gets, and so is the technology from this universe. Only two settings for the phasers and no bulkhead breach sealing forcefields? BS. They also have no forcefields for the brig either. I also hate the new Kirk, he has no strategy, no backbone, no common sense, no class and he seems like a wannabe tough guy. Instead of finding a nebula like environment thus equaling the odds of success while duking it out with the Vengeance, they just fly towards Earth like oblivious morons and get nearly torn apart. The movies do provide entertainment but that's all they provide.
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:iconcalamitysi:
calamitySi Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2013
Hi all, another British Trek- Whovian here! Just wanted to say it was great reading this article and all the comments as I'm currently building a BIG bad Federation Dreadnought of my own called the USS Invictus, which is directly inspired by the Vengeance. The comments about ' landmarks' were of particular interest as I'm looking for details to add to give it scale. I'm still building it at the moment but the model can be found here: [link]

I'm taking a slightly more traditional approach by giving this dreadnought the nacelles but the saucer cut-out actually opens out to space. I'll keep working on it and do some nice renders once she's complete.
deviantART muro drawing Comment Drawing
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:icongalaxy1701d:
galaxy1701d Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2013
I see someone is familiar with the old Franz Joseph technical manual! You weren't kidding when you said you were making your model a more traditional approach. You've got the saucer, drive, two nacelles and a 3rd nacelle coming out of the saucer like the old Federation-class; it doesn't get more "traditional" than that.

As for your saucer cut-out opening to space... it may intrigue you to see this, then. This was the very first concept artwork done for what became the U.S.S. Vengeance.

[link]

As you can see, in that planning stage she looked very different from what we finally got. The finalized Vengeance was actually more traditional than the first concept, and I must confess I find that a relief as the initial concept for the Vengeance was ruddy hideous.

(She was never meant to be a pretty ship anyway, but the finalized design actually had pretty cool look to her, while all I can think of when looking at the first concept was how lucky we were that this didn't make it to the big screen.)

I was thinking of playing with Vengeance's design as well, but haven't gotten any time away from medical school and clinical rotations to do any drawing. I have also been waiting for more concept artwork and a better understanding of her technology - for example, we still don't know where her "hangars" actually open out to or where her shuttlebay doors are, and we only found out what those "giant anime rail guns of death" actually were: super-sized versions of the torpedo turrets that ships like the Kelvin had, packed with "clip"-like magazines of pre-loaded Photon Torpedoes - it took the novel coming out to confirm this.

And we had to extrapolate from the old Prime Reality "Mr. Scott's
Guide to the Enterprise" to figure out that Vengeance having "Mark IV Capabilities" is the equivalent of the Prime Reality Enterprise's TMP Refit giving the ship an "advanced 4th generation warp drive" and that the Vengeance being "three times as fast" as the Enterprise (which is rated at Warp 8 during the TOS time frame in both the Prime and Alternate Realities) means she can go as high as Warp 12 on the old scale. (The novel seems to imply that she can only hold Warp 12 for a short burst, allowing her to catch up with fleeing targets, merge her warp bubble with theirs, and therefore fire on enemy ships while at warp as we saw in the movie.)

We may have to wait until the Blu-Ray comes out and hope it has a "Starships" featurette like the one for ST:09 did before we finally get more details on this ship. One of the problems with the guys running the rebooted franchise is that they are not as meticulous with their world-building as the TOS team was - Matt Jefferies had the entire Enterprise basically planned before they made the show. We knew exactly how long she was, we knew what was on every deck, we even knew what every button on every bridge station was supposed to do, which made it easy to for fans to design ships because they knew how the technology works and how much leeway they had to tinker with it.

Unfortunately, with the reboot franchise, it feels like we still don't even have a really good size for the new Enterprise nailed down yet, as you can tell from all the different sets of guesses for the size of the Vengeance that I put up in this article. She could be anywhere from slightly longer than a Sovereign Class starship to nearly as large as an Imperator-Class Imperial Star Destroyer depending on which of the published sizes for the new Enterprise you accept (we have heard everything from 302 meters, 366 meters, 600 meters, 725.35 meters and 760 meters to even 900 meters at most.)

As a Treknologist, that kind of creative irresponsibility is like a cardinal sin to me when you are trying to tell a story that is based on internally consistent world-building. Evidently, Orci and Kurtzman don't see it that way, nor do they seem to care. =P
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:iconcaptainpenguin:
CaptainPenguin Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2013
the vengeance is impossibly gorgeous if they didnt want her to be so. i have her as my desktop background right now. but why keep the bridge in the center of the saucer if you cut out that section? the only purpose i can see for a cut-out is to put it to work. maybe in combat targeting systems or gunners would outline the vessel, aim for the center and shoot at nothing. and in other places, you could dock ships or suspend salvage in the middle, giving it shelter with the hull and shields
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:icongalaxy1701d:
galaxy1701d Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2013
She was never meant to look pretty - Enterprise was the one that was meant to look pretty as she's the "heroine ship" and she is also meant to be the "public face of Starfleet." Vengeance's design was meant to follow some traditional Federation design principles - but she was also officially non-existent and designed completely for practical and military purposes, so they didn't care what she looked like - they cared about what she did. She wasn't designed to seek out strange new worlds. She was designed to blast them to pieces with Phasers and long-range Torpedoes.

We haven't seen enough about the Vengeance to know if there really are docking ports, tractor beams, additional weapons, sensors or targeting systems in the middle of that cutout. The only really practical reasons to give such a wide cutout instead of just having a completely sunken bridge (just a porthole) or an internal bridge (which is what we Trekkies have complained about for a while) - from a behind-the-scenes standpoint - are 1.) somebody's been playing too much STO (the "doughnut saucer" is infamous because it's used a lot in STO) and 2.) they were trying to convey the idea of a sunken bridge protected by plates while still keeping the bridge plainly visible.

The reason they had that bridge cutout was as a response to the idea that an exposed "conning tower" was too visible and too vulnerable. I understand that if you still had a bridge viewport and completely sunk the bridge down, then it defeats the viewport's entire purpose because all the port would see when not being used as a holo-viewscreen is a big bulkhead. That's why I actually suspect that from a design standpoint, the bridge is likely protected by that fairing in front, but peeks out just so slightly *above* it so the viewport can still be used.

When the ship crashes and Khan/Harrison is sliding down the wrecked bridge, he jumps straight down and then ends up sliding down the front of the saucer. That suggests the bridge viewport is actually just above the fairing that juts up from the front of the saucer to protect it. If it wasn't, then if Khan had jumped more-or-less straight down, he'd have landed right smack on the bulkhead and then had to scramble across it to continue sliding down the saucer section.
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:iconcaptainpenguin:
CaptainPenguin Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2013
what do you think about the Enterprise J?
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:iconcaptainpenguin:
CaptainPenguin Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2013
ive read these things too and wanted to see what someone else saw. but that ship was supposed to be born of principals we havent imagined yet, so would an engineer from now see more from it than a not engineer? thats what i was looking for.
and also, did you know about netflix campaigning to revive ENT? [link]
how about that? some say this is a bad move
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:icongalaxy1701d:
galaxy1701d Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2013
First off, it's "principles." Homonyms are tricky little things, aren't they?

I know about the Netflix campaign to revive ENT and I am actually all for it. I do have a soft spot for ENT, even though the producers made some terrible decisions, believing that 1.) they had more leeway with the timeline than they really did (we may not have seen the 2150s before ENT, but we roughly knew what was supposed to happen and they did not respect this), 2.) they did many things they should never have done and didn't do enough of the things they should have done (the Temporal Cold War and Xindi storylines were COMPLETELY unnecessary), and 3.) they were too afraid of being "different" when being different was what ENT was all about (they made the technology too powerful for its time because they were afraid that having tech that was too weak would suddenly make the show not feel like "Trek" anymore, when ironically, extremely weak tech was correct for the 2150s).

But Manny Coto came along and started to fix all that. Season 4 was really good. ENT finally became a good TOS prequel and started to slowly lead into the Romulan War. Then they cut it off and I was always infuriated with them for it - now all we have are the relaunch novels.

As for principles? Maybe it's based on technology we have never seen yet, but when TOS was being created, Matt Jefferies was keen on insisting that all of the technology that went into "Star Trek" - especially the architecture of Federation starships - needed to be idiot proof. It needed to be understandable at a glance. That's how you build realism and that's how you gain the audience's trust.

1.) The saucer just happened to be a practical shape for a living environment that was also fairly pressure resistant.

2.) Putting the engineering components in the drive section concentrated them into one location keeping them away from the crew.

3.) Jefferies knew the warp engines would be insanely powerful and speculated they were awfully dangerous. That's why they are on pylons away from the ship.

4.) The tube shape of the nacelles automatically makes you think "engine," no exhaust conveys the notion of "super tech" and the pylons add an obvious weakness to the design (every ship has weaknesses).

5.) Putting the bridge at the top of the ship made it obvious to even the slowest viewer that this was where the command center was. It also evokes the idea of a "conning tower" - an idea that ST:09 took even further when it made the viewscreen a porthole as real warships do have large window galleries on their bridges.

6.) Putting the shuttlebay in the back with big clamshell doors also made the hangar obvious and puts it in a protected location, kind of like how a USMC Amphibious Assault Ship has a loading deck on the bottom rear.

I'm not a professional engineer and even I can see - and clearly understand - enough of these principles that I can create plausible starship designs as a hobby, with abilities, strengths, weaknesses and calculated dimensions that make sense and are explainable. So I don't necessarily think an engineer would see too much more from it than a non-engineer, although a physicist or engineer would definitely be able to judge the plausibility of the design from a Physics standpoint.

And there has been one scientist on record in a "Trek" documentary that said he was amazed that when he looks at Enterprise at a scientist, what jumps out most at him is the fact that nothing about her design is wrong, or is so implausible that he would have to say that "you can't do that." The design *works.* And that's no surprise, because the Jefferies did his homework and consulted with scientists and engineers - and he himself was also a pilot - before designing the ship.

Hope that answers your question.
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:icongalaxy1701d:
galaxy1701d Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2013
Well, she's obviously even bigger than the Vengeance. She's a Universe-class vessel (according to John Eaves, I think) so large that intraship transport is not only allowed but is necessary for crewmen to traverse the ship, she can leave the galaxy regularly, she's multi-generational, she even has universities on board.

She's at least two miles long, if I remember my facts right. But she's a 26th century ship, so it makes more sense for her to be that big. So that isn't as hard to digest as the Vengeance was. (And we don't even know for sure if that timeline still exists or was excised due to the events of ENT Season 3, so your mileage may vary there, too.)

Does that answer your question?
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:iconcaptainpenguin:
CaptainPenguin Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2013
have you seen my reply from 5 days ago? /\ i thought i replied it to your comment but it says it went to mine.
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:icongalaxy1701d:
galaxy1701d Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2013
I didn't at first, but I looked through the note and saw it again. To be completely honest, I don't always have the time to reply to everything that's posted. I'm not sure if I told you this, but I'm a medical student currently juggling 8AM-5PM rotations, clinical research and online homework. So while I appreciate your interest and wish for intelligent discussion, my time is extremely limited right now. That note had been posted long before rotations began, when I had a lot more time on my hands. Please try to understand.
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:iconcaptainpenguin:
CaptainPenguin Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2013
i was just saying i thought it was your comment that i sent to, good luck with your work. i think even with the holes that the new movies have, the Star Trek AR could make a series with its own identity. if im not mistaken this crew is younger than TOS crew. i would think we can use this, say the philosophy that is guiding their this crew's lives isnt as mature at TOS. instead of a journey about self discoery like in TOS it would be about self development.
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:iconblackheart-kiryu:
BlackHeart-Kiryu Featured By Owner May 23, 2013
Spoiler Alert in case noone has seen the movie yet.

There is something....in the new movie you see a shuttle go into USS Enterprise's shuttle bay the shuttle can't be more than 5 meters long the Enterprise doesn't look that big in comparison. I think USS Enterprise in Alternate reality is exactly the same size as the orignal USS Enterprise, Kahn says USS Vengence is twice the size and three times as fast meaning USS Vengence is basicly the size of a Galaxy class.
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:icongalaxy1701d:
galaxy1701d Featured By Owner May 23, 2013
She was supposed to be roughly that big, maybe a little bigger. All of her "landmarks" - the external torpedo launcher, the deck "strips" on her saucer, the bridge dome, the shuttle bay doors etc. - are meant to be that size. The giant problem is that a ship the size of a TOS Constitution (289 meters) or Constitution Refit (302 meters) can't fit 20 shuttlecraft with each shuttle being as big as a Greyhound bus capable of carrying 40 passengers plus cargo into her shuttle bay.

The original TOS Enterprise's shuttlebay is about this big on a 289-meter ship:

[link]

And those 2 shuttles that barely squeezed in there were Type-F's. Type-F shuttles could only carry 7 passengers and were about the size of a minivan. They could fit cargo, but only because they didn't have seats on both sides of the shuttle.

On the other hand, here's a good shot of the Alternate Reality Enterprise shuttlebay:

[link]

Again, that's enough space for 20 shuttles plus a central space wide enough for 2 shuttles to fly in side-by-side, and each of those shuttles has enough space for dozens of passengers, plus cargo and even walking space for Barracks officers.

[link]

[link]

The problem with the shuttle bay scenes is that if you focus the camera too much on the shuttle, due to perspective, the shuttle bay itself can look smaller than it actually is.

I've been studying the design of the Prime and Alternate Reality ships and shuttles for a while, and I really wish I could agree with you, but the Alternate Reality shuttlecraft just can't be merely 5 meters long - that's about the length of a Ford Windstar minivan, and my dad used to have one of those so I'm familiar with their internal space (or lack thereof) - if they can easily fit 40+ passengers sitting in long rows plus cargo, or even be reconfigured to be a complete laboratory like Scotty's shuttle was. (The typical Greyhound bus is about 14 meters long.)

[link]

^ That big laboratory would never have fit in a TOS Type-F, a lot of the shuttles on the new Enterprise were of this type, and the ship is meant to carry at least 20. You can't shove that much stuff in a shuttle the size of a Ford Windstar.

But I will say this, though. The Alternate Reality Enterprise was *NEVER* originally meant to be as big as the Power That Be claim she is (those bogus 600-meter-plus numbers that we've been getting from various sources). She was based on the TMP Enterprise Refit and designed by Ryan Church to scale to match that ship, then bumped up a bit to make her a tad bigger, which is why her original design length wound up being 366 meters (the TMP Enterprise Refit was about 302).

The only real reason they blew up her length the way they did was because if you don't, the shuttle scene makes no sense. The shape of that ship's rear end at 302 or even 366 meters just makes it physically impossible to jam that many shuttles of that kind of size in there.

I ran numbers in my entry using a 366-meter Enterprise as well as several of the blown-up, larger sizes and if you use that sort of length as your starting point, then yes, we do arrive at the conclusion you came to where the Vengeance should be close to a Galaxy or Sovereign class in size.

And I think that until they finally flat-out throw in a line on screen about how big the Enterprise is, we might have some liberty to make our own conclusions about ship sizes since the Powers That Be evidently can't quite agree on their ship sizes either since there have been so many "official" sizes for the Enterprise thrown out there - I've heard 366 meters, 600 meters, 725.35 meters, 760 meters or even 900 meters. It's ridiculous.

As for the "3 times as fast" line, I remember that. They didn't go into more detail so I can't help but wonder exactly what they meant by that. But since Vengeance was able to catch up with Enterprise at warp and effectively merge their warp tunnels (allowing Vengeance to fire Phasers within that "tunnel" or "bubble" of normal space even though both ships were at warp), I'm guessing they mean she's faster at warp, which would also mean they're using the old warp scale which had speeds that exceeded Warp 10. That's good; it means they aren't using the TNG warp factor scale a hundred years too early.
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:iconblackheart-kiryu:
BlackHeart-Kiryu Featured By Owner May 23, 2013
Yeah i believed the Enterprise was more around 300 range like the refit really when i said original i kinda ment the refit ^^'' but still the USS Enterprise in many scenes does not look like its over 500 meters like many people believe it is.

As for it's warp factor i thought the exact same but we have no idea how fast Enterprise was going in that scene she was damaged after all i doubt she exceeded warp 7.

But in TNG you can count the warp 9.99999 stuff as being 3 times as fast as calculating her actual speed not her warp factor.
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:icongalaxy1701d:
galaxy1701d Featured By Owner May 23, 2013
By the way, I think Vengeance suffers from the same proportional issues as the Enterprise does in terms of "architectural landmarks" being out-of-proportion at the declared sizes.

I suspect this happened because Vengeance wasn't designed according to a set numbered length but to scale up to the Enterprise's CGI model - and we know Enterprise wasn't supposed to be 600+ meters long.

[link]

Her bridge is clearly visible in this shot. It's the round lighted thing in the center of her saucer section. We can tell from comparing that bridge section, which is a single room that seems to be roughly the size of the Enterprise-A bridge (I think), to the rest of the saucer section that this ship looks like she should be about the size of the Galaxy or Sovereign classes.

She doesn't look like she should be 1,000+ meters long. If it weren't for the "official numbers" being what they are, the only way I could realistically believe the ship in that picture was 1,000+ meters long would be if the bridge section were 1/2 as big as it is in the CGI rendering.

Her windows (which you can see in the "doughnut hole" in the saucer section) are also too big. If she really were 1,000+ meters long, those windows would be gigantic compared to the average human (Enterprise suffers from the same problem with window scaling).

If the bridge of the CGI model was 1/2 the size (or diameter) that it is in the actual model and the few visible windows were made 50% smaller as well, the proportions would match a bit better for a 1,000+ meter ship, largely because Vengeance was purposely designed to *NOT* have the other "visible landmarks" that I was talking about on the Enterprise (we can't even easily see where her shuttlebay is).
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:icongalaxy1701d:
galaxy1701d Featured By Owner May 23, 2013
There's a reason you feel that way: she doesn't look like she's over 500 meters long because she was originally not meant to be. Starfleet ships often have very, very definite reference points - I call them "landmarks" - that you can use to calculate their size if you look closely enough.

For example, the Vengeance's bridge looks puny from the outside compared to the rest of the ship, and this makes sense because she's supposed to be twice Enterprise's length, which would require her bridge to be a proportionally smaller part of her external superstructure even if it weren't being hidden deep in the hull (especially since she has a smaller bridge floor plan than Enterprise as well).

The Constitution Class is full of these architectural "landmarks," and I think Matt Jefferies did this intentionally when he designed the TOS Enterprise because he wanted to emphasize the realism and believability of the design; they were continued when Andrew Probert did the refit version. They include:

1. Bridge dome
2. Windows
3. External photon torpedo launcher
4. Shuttle bay doors
5. Circular docking ports (assumed to be about the height of the average human on the TMP Refit)
6. The "strips" on the sides of the saucer that imply where the decks are within the saucer

The Ryan Church ST:09 Enterprise was designed to scale with the TMP Refit by Andy Probert, and therefore all of these "landmarks" on Church's ship are proportioned to match those of the TMP Refit. This is why she does not look like a 600+ meter ship, but she looks like a 300+ meter ship. The proportions *fit* a 300+ meter ship, but break down at larger sizes.

The only "landmark" on the new Enterprise that suggests a ship in the 600+ meter range is the bridge window - and that was a "cheat" because in the TOS ship, the entire *dome* at the top of the conning tower was the bridge, not just one tiny little window.

When they blew up her size, they failed to re-proportion her - the windows should have been made smaller, the shuttlebay doors should have been redesigned, the docking hatches should have been made smaller, and they should have put more lines on the saucer between "decks," among other things. The looks of the ship's body don't make sense at 600+ meters; and then you see that ginormous shuttlebay inside those clamshell doors and there's a sort of disconnect there, like looking inside the Doctor's TARDIS ( "Time Lord technology. It's bigger on the inside!" ).

I do agree with you about the warp factor, though. I'm sure she wasn't going past Warp 7. She was rated at a maximum speed of Warp 8 according to press releases, if I remember right, but if we use the TOS scale, in the Prime Reality the TOS Enterprise generally traveled at around Warp 6 and dialog from ST:09 made it sound like even getting to Warp 4 was pretty significant.

More importantly, the Enterprise's warp core had been deliberately sabotaged on S31's orders before she left to go after Khan on Qo'nos. The core is never shown to be in truly good shape at any point in the movie, and it is still in bad shape when Kirk goes to warp to try to escape the Vengeance. I'm sure she couldn't have been doing anything better than Warp 5 or 6, maybe.

Of course, the warp charts were never truly linear, and they were skewed even further when the TNG scale was calculated in order to make Warp 10 infinitely, even meaninglessly fast, so it's like you said, by the TNG era, even going from Warp 9.99 to Warp 9.999 is a tremendous increase in speed - and distance covered - from a relativistic standpoint! =P
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:iconblackheart-kiryu:
BlackHeart-Kiryu Featured By Owner May 23, 2013
When you see the shuttles on the outside going in to land within Enterprise like you said they haven't proportioned her properly like i mentioned with Enterprise not looking huge compared to the Shuttle that like fits 10-20 people, when you see the shuttle going into the aft section it only looks like you could only fit 3 in there with how big engineering looks taking up the rest of the ship's primary hull.

Yush the window thing did get me alittle.

TOS Enterprise i think was only warp 8 max speed warp 10 if they did the slingshot around a star, the refit could go 9.2 max.

And yes i know timelord technology im british so i know Doctor who well lol.
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:icongalaxy1701d:
galaxy1701d Featured By Owner May 23, 2013
Yep! That's why I made the remark - I saw on your profile that you're from Great Britain and I happen to be a Whovian as well as a Trekkie. =)

But yeah, I think the best way to put this is that your perception isn't deceiving you. She's not supposed to be as big as they say she is. They blew up her size to make a few particular scenes fit, and then jammed interiors that were too big for those particular sections of the ship *into* said sections of the ship simply because they could. >_<

Sometimes, it's easier to just suspend your disbelief. Unfortunately, I'm a more of a Treknologist than a regular Trekkie, and I find it bloody difficult to turn that "realism sensor" off.
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:iconblackheart-kiryu:
BlackHeart-Kiryu Featured By Owner May 23, 2013
Don't worry i love talking bout this stuff i never really get to do it often.
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:icongalaxy1701d:
galaxy1701d Featured By Owner May 23, 2013
Me neither. Most of the Trekkies I know only like it for the story, or just because they think it's "cool" on some superficial level, not because they like it for the world-building or the military life - which is why I'm interested in it.
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:iconsaddlepatch:
SaddlePatch Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I think we can all just agree the U.S.S. Vengeance is STUNNING and I can't wait to see it on the big screen. It's a beautiful ship, no matter its size. Just that scene of it lingering over the Enterprise sends shivers down my spine. I have re-newed hope in this movie!
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:icongalaxy1701d:
galaxy1701d Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2013
Hey there! I haven't heard from you in a while.

I'm glad you love the Vengeance, too. And since we have had so many Starfleet ship designs done since 1966, I really like how they are trying to do something that's familiar, yet different. It's too bad that, as we already know from the trailers, she winds up destroyed. I hate seeing a good ship go down, even a villain's ship. =(

I admit, though, there's just a part of me that really gets a kick out of trying to work out the specifications and layouts of ships like the Starship Vengeance. Having some numbers just makes her feel more "real" to me, but it might be just because I'm a trained scientist and we love doing things by the numbers. =P
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:iconsaddlepatch:
SaddlePatch Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ugh I know, I wish they would just try to take over the ship and give it to the Federation and give it to a captain that is noble enough to have her, but alas, this wouldn't be Star Trek without some explosions and destroyed star ships!

And I have no problem with people trying to figure out the size, just on Facebook Ive been seeing nothing but arguments on the Star Trek page about how "its not true to Starfleet" blah blah blah XD Its sci-fi fantasy and Im pretty sure even Gene wasn't this anal like some of these comments im seeing XD Not saying you are, please dont take that the wrong way ^^;
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:icongalaxy1701d:
galaxy1701d Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2013
Don't worry, you are talking to someone who has been calling these trolls out on their fundamentalism since 2009. Trust me, I've taken classes on Italian Fascism and I know what fundamentalism looks like. What these so-called "fans" are doing is fundamentalism. They think they know what "real Trek" is and then try to force their idea of "real Trek" on everybody else, as if audiences don't have the right to like what they want.

I've become convinced that there is some kind of Spanish Inquisition going on within the "Trek" fan base, as if there is some kind of party line that you have to toe or else you aren't a "real" fan... and then when we get all these young, new fans who came in with the movie, I really fear that they'll go to their first conventions and these older fans will expect them to already have watched all of the other series from TOS to VOY, which isn't reasonable. Then again, we're Trekkies, nobody ever thought we were reasonable people outside the geek community.

And for that matter, no, Mr. Roddenberry was never this anal-retentive about canon. Canon was not that important to him. He created "Trek" to do three things: 1.) plant an idea of just what our race could do if we got over our issues and self-destructive tendencies, 2.) make science fiction "respectable" again in the eyes of classic "hard" sci-fi writers by doing a serious show, as you must remember, 1966 was the time when a certain jerk named Irwin Allen made one dumb show after another that somehow managed to get popular ("The Time Tunnel," "Lost in Space," "Journey to the Bottom of the Sea," etc.) under a sort of "stupid sells" concept (Gene refused to believe audiences were really that dumb), and 3.) use sci-fi as a very thin mask to talk about things he felt needed to be told but that the 1960s-era television network censors would not allow him to say outright.

And you know what? In 1989, during one of the last interviews he ever gave, Gene once mused that perhaps in "20 years," somebody would come along and do "Trek" in a totally different way than how he did it (his exact words were something along the lines of how people would think the new Trek would "make Roddenberry look like nothing" ), and with a twinkle in his eye, he said that this would please him. He also once tried to make sure people knew that the big message he really wanted to send out was embodied in the Vulcan IDIC: to be open-minded, to accept diversity, and to accept different ways of doing things.

We love to boast about how Gene taught us all. In reality, we think we learned his lesson, but we learned nothing. What did we learn? To be ultra-fundamenatalist canonistas. When the movie came out, it's as if it started a civil war within the fan base. I'm an old-timer myself - I came aboard during TNG - and I'm sick of this. I swear, it's only in the "Trek" community that you get a 25-year-old like me lecturing 50-year-olds about not acting like 5th grade schoolyard bullies and the need to respect the basic human right of autonomous thinking and opinion. I am really starting to feel like I finally understand why the rest of the human race apparently loves to hate and torture us (I grew up being persecuted and teased for being a Trekkie and have nearly given up on "Trek" at least once). We are apparently Public Enemy #1 among the non-geeks, as shows like "Big Bang Theory" like to rub in our faces.

So, my advice to you is to stay away from the comment threads on the "Trek" pages. Those people are all trolls and they don't represent the majority of Trekkies. It's always the crazy minority that screams the loudest. Take it from someone who spent 4 years trying to fight them and has grown utterly disillusioned with even trying. I for one love the entire franchise. I have a fondness for the concept of a "theme and variations" and I believe that doing "Trek" in different ways for different audiences is not only neat, but it's key to our survival. Otherwise the franchise *IS* going to die when we all croak, and I don't feel myself getting any younger.

That being said, I share your feelings about a big beautiful ship like the Vengeance, but at least there should be more than one of them in the fleet since her class name is actually Dreadnought, implying a prototype Starship Dreadnought. =P

And I'll let you in on something else... the biggest reason I've been trying to work out her design specs is because I'm thinking of doing my own version (sort of like a TWOK-era upgrade of the ship), so that's why I needed to work out her size and capabilities. =)
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:iconspaceempire91:
SpaceEmpire91 Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
To me it also seems like J.J. Abrams ships are bigger than the original Enterprise. Is this true, or just me???
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:icongalaxy1701d:
galaxy1701d Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2013
(There were some inaccuracies with the previous post I made as I didn't remember a few facts right. But Deviant Art has strange ideas about user-friendliness and won't let me delete the old post, so I just hid it instead.)

As for where the Vengeance is coming from? Given what I remember from the little military history I've read up on, I think the Vengeance is probably the anti-Narada. She is the equivalent of the super battleships and super cruisers that America built in WW2 to counter the Japanese (and to a lesser extent, the German Kriegsmarine).

In the 1920s, America signed several rounds of naval disarmament treaties because it couldn't afford to get into more escalating arms races with England, Japan and France - and because it wanted to make sure Germany never got a navy again. Of course, a fat lot of good that did, as the future Axis Powers simply got to the point where they decided not to follow the treaties and began building bigger, more powerful next-generation ships out in the open (when they could get away with tonnage limitations) or in secret (when they knew they were going to be too big to lie about).

The Germans kicked off by building the Deutschland-class Panzerschiffen (armored ships), a revolutionary new breed of heavy cruiser armed with six battleship grade eleven-inch guns and capable of very high speed, designed as the ultimate scouts and commerce raiders. They then turned it up a notch by building modern battleships and battlecruisers - first the Scharnhorst and Gniesenau, then the Admiral Hipper-class super heavy cruisers (they were really battlecruisers) such as the famous Prinz Eugen, and finally the super battleships Bismarck and Tirpitz, which weighed nearly fifty thousand tons each (well over treaty limits - the Germans simply lied about their size in official statements) and were armed with eight fifteen inch guns.

Then the Japanese turned their backs on the international community and vowed to rebuild their older WW1 battleships and introduce a new generation of ships, each of whom was designed to be powerful enough to destroy two American warships of comparable class at the same time. They turned out a series of some of the mightiest heavy cruisers ever built - the Aoba's, the Mogami's, the Takao's, etc. - and heavily modernized their old battleships and battlecruisers - the Kongo's, the Fuso's, the Nagato's (the first battleships with sixteen inch guns), etc. before kicking it up a notch and producing the ultimate battleships, the Yamato and Musashi, each armed with nine terrifying eighteen point one inch main guns, and planned for an even bigger "Super Yamato" that would have been armed with twenty inch guns.

The Americans got wind of all this. The American high command didn't know exactly how big Yamato was going to be because the Japanese were so secretive about Yamato (they knew how outrageously illegal she was) that she was designed in pieces under strict supervision, her specifications were kept secret from almost everybody in Japan, and nobody ever really knew the full plans - not even her crew. And the Germans lied about the size of Bismarck and Tirpitz. But we knew our enemies were building super battleships against treaty. So the Navy laid down plans for their own and after Pearl Harbor, those plans went into action.

The USN raised several battleships that Japan had destroyed. They were old WW1-era designs, so Navy engineers put them through a refit about as severe as the one Enterprise (NCC-1701) got between TOS and TMP, stripping the battleships down to the frame and essentially building brand new warships onto the guts of the old ones. When those resurrected battleships faced the Japanese again later in the Pacific war, the Japanese almost didn't even recognize them as they looked different and were far more powerful. But Admiral King and the U.S. Navy didn't stop there.

America built the enormous Alaska class CB's - "super cruisers" or "large cruisers" - Alaska and Hawaii, to kill the fearsome Japanese heavy cruisers like the Takao's and developed its own generation of super battleships - the South Dakota's, the North Carolina's, and the Iowa's - all armed with sixteen inch guns that could rival the Nagato's. There were even plans drawn up for a monster battleship of America's own - the Montana - that was ultimately never built.

Each of these new WW2 era battleships looked nothing like the WW1-era ships the Japanese sank at Pearl Harbor. They were much, much bigger, far more powerfully armed, had significantly better armor and more advanced equipment, were tremendously faster and had radically different hull shapes - and it had only been a handful of years since 1941 when their comparatively ancient WW1-era predecessors were the best the U.S. Navy had to offer.

"Star Trek" has a tradition of following trends in real-life military history. We could argue that the events of ST:09 were like Pearl Harbor to the Alternate Reality Starfleet because one gigantic alien ship loaded with future-tech wiped the floor with Starfleet's main-line designs not once, but twice. The Kelvin stood no chance in 2233. Even 25 years later in 2258, a flotilla of 6-7 Starfleet ships didn't stand a chance. Even the brand new Enterprise, supposedly designed with lessons from the Narada encounter in mind, stood no chance. Narada was only stopped by more alien future-tech. If you're an Admiral, that's the last thing you want to hear because it makes you feel helpless to rely on a miracle like that.

So the Dreadnoughts - there has to be more than one because if this one is called Vengeance, then she isn't the class prototype - represent Starfleet's attempt to go from the WW1-era battleship to the late WW2-era super battleship. She is Starfleet pushing the brains of the ASDB to create something, anything, that has even some chance to stand up to the Narada, hence the combat-oriented design, armored, sturdy hull and radically different ordnance. So she is not really "Mirror Universe" in that sense. She is merely a product of her times, a creation of a Starfleet that has become paranoid and feels concerned that it can't protect the Federation well enough.
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:icongalaxy1701d:
galaxy1701d Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2013
Yes and no. Here is the situation. When they were initially designed by Ryan Church, he did not intend for them to be that much bigger. The ST:09 Enterprise was designed to match up very closely with the TMP Enterprise (Refit). She was only meant to be about 64 meters longer largely because of her extra-long warp nacelles. When you look at the scaling of the physical model to individual characters (such as when Kirk is shown in front of the bridge window during zoom-out shots), you can see that the model is still built to suggest a 302-366 meter Enterprise.

Like I said in my article, the only reason she got blown up to be that enormous 725.35 or even 760 meter size was because Abrams and the writing staff insisted on keeping the shuttle scene, as it had that kind of "wow" factor to it that they hoped would attract general audiences. Audiences who are not used to "Star Trek" would see the scene with all those big shuttles going into the hangar bay and they would be reminded of the old days when you'd have guys climbing into rowboats going to board a big Royal Navy sailing warship or walking up the gangplank, so to speak.

I liked the size of the old Enterprise because at just 289 meters (the size of an early Cold War U.S. Navy carrier like the U.S.S. Midway), she wasn't small, but she wasn't too big and so she felt more like something we could actually build in 250-300 years. If we must believe the "official" sizes we've been given for the new Enterprise - and therefore, all Alternate Reality ships, we are winding up with Starfleet ships the size of early Star Destroyers, and I don't like this.

I am very well known among my friends because I like to blast "Star Wars" for its unbelievable future-tech (even though I'm a Star Destroyer fan myself and can rattle off the little-known comic book types like nobody's business). To me, Star Destroyers are the Mary Sues of sci-fi spaceships. They are too big, too well-protected, too powerful, carry too many soldiers and are simply too invulnerable to make them realistic at all. The only thing worse is when you start getting super robot anime, where all semblance of reality is thrown out the window. Case in point? "Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann," which ironically is another favorite of mine. =P
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:iconspaceempire91:
SpaceEmpire91 Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I like your theory/ information. ^_^ Thanks for answering my question.
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:icongalaxy1701d:
galaxy1701d Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2013
No problem. I just regret the controversy had to happen. I'm one of those Trekkies who prefers his "Trek" ships small, so to speak.
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